Former RSS ideologue Govindacharya wants parliamentary probe in workings of social media platforms
Political parties should bury their differences and shed double speak on the issue of data sovereignty and right to privacy; to come up with solutions to the problems of social media platforms being largely unregulated and unchecked said KN Govindacharya, a former Bharatiya Janata Party general secretary and an RSS ideologue on Monday.
Speaking in the backdrop of the controversy stoked by an article in the Wall Street Journal that alleges that Ankhi Das, public policy director, Facebook, for India, South and Central Asia, had opposed action against BJP leaders accused of hate speech; Govindacharya said a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe as demanded by the Congress should be used as an opportunity to address “fundamental and systemic problems”.
“Instead of trading accusations the political parties will do well to address the basic question of accountability and work on creating a mechanism for drafting the necessary laws for doing so. They speak one language in power and another when in the opposition,” he said.
Govindacharya, who has been leading a campaign seeking regulation of social media platforms and has filed a petition in the Delhi high court (HC) for rules to make companies such as Facebook and Google establish their servers in India, has also been pushing for fast tracking the Personal Data Protection Bill to make internet technology companies pay more taxes.
In 2014, he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call off his meeting with Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, until issues such as data protection, taxation and user privacy are not resolved.
“Parties should not replace conviction with convenience. They should use the JPC to address the concerns of right to privacy, the selective and biased approach to taking down content; there have to be curative solutions,” he said.